Katie Pate has been named Associate Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Thundering Herd head coach Tony Kemper announced Friday, June 16.
Pate comes to Huntington from Lenoir-Rhyne University, where she served as head coach of the Bears for the past three seasons. Prior to that, she was also the program’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator for four seasons. L-R was also the nation’s ninth-best defensive team in 2016-17 with a record of 17-12 overall.
Pate teamed with former head coach Todd Starkey to lead the Bears to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances and top 25 national rankings in 2012-13 and 2013-14, a season in which they also captured the conference’s regular season crown and the number one seed in the Southeast regional. During her stint in Hickory, N.C., the Bears captured numerous All-American, all-region and all-conference honors.
The Bears boasted the South Atlantic Conference’s 2013-14 Woman of the Year in Jazmine Charles during Pate’s tenure and had a program-record 3.44 semester grade-point average in the spring of 2015. Pate coordinated all academic programming for L-R, which led to the Bears achieving a national top 20 GPA of 3.42. Pate also developed a sports nutrition program to improve health and fitness of the team and was chair of the SAC for all member school Student-Athlete Advisory committees
As head coach, Pate also spearheaded L-R’s fundraising for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, raising nearly $10,000 for research, more money than any other NCAA Division II institution on the national level (300 programs).
Sandwiched between her stints at L-R, was a stop at Georgia State in 2014. There, she managed the business operations, summer camps and academic success, which led to a team-high 3.21 GPA during the summer session.
Pate has been an educator and researcher during her career, teaming with national basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli on the pair’s “Sweet 16 to Vegas” feasibility study. The project is designed to explore new and groundbreaking ways to re-brand the sport of college women’s basketball while creating a distinct and unique vision for the sport.
Pate served as USC Upstate’s Director of Athletics Marketing and Promotions from 2007 to 2009. She oversaw advertising, branding, creative services, promotions and grassroots marketing and helped set single-game attendance marks, increased season attendance and grew the Spartan Army booster club. She twice presented for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) at the NIKE Assistant Coaches Roundtables and has guest lectured on several topics ranging from player and program development to entrepreneurship.
Boasting over 100 wins as a head coach and nearly 20 years in the collegiate game overall, Pate served as head coach for Belmont-Abbey College (2005-07) and Coker College (2001-05). At the Abbey, Pate expanded the recruiting base and secured Division I transfers that resulted in all-conference honors. Pate was also the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference liaison on several national basketball committees.
She guided Coker to the most wins in school history in a season (19) and advanced to the CVAC tournament championship. The program was the seventh-most improved team in the nation, going from 11-16 to 19-11. The team improved its GPA to 3.44 and Pate recruited and coached the program’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, securing postgraduate scholarships for two student-athletes worth more than $50,000.
As a student-athlete, Pate was a first-team All-Carolinas-Virginia Conference pick and a three-year team captain at Coker.
Pate graduated from Coker and the Universidad de Complutense de Madrid in 1997 with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Exercise Science (Coker). In 2004, she received a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University.
In addition to Georgia State and Lenoir-Rhyne, she has also been an assistant coach at Wingate (2009-10), USC Upstate (1999-2001) and Coker (1998-99).
Pate was born in Grinnell, Iowa and moved to Minneapolis, Minn. Her father, Scott, remarried in Minnesota and that influenced Katie’s future. Her stepmother, Ellen Mosher-Hanson, was a head coach at UCLA (20-3 and 19-4 in 1975-77 with Hall of Famers Ann Meyers and Denise Curry) and the University of Minnesota, where she is a member of the Gopher Hall of Fame (172 wins from 1977-87).
The family moved to Hayward, Wisconsin where Katie starred at Hayward High and still holds that school’s all-time scoring record.
Katie’s birth mother is Betty Coker and Katie has a younger sister, Kristi Brannon.
What They Are Saying About Katie Pate
Debbie Antonelli, National Basketball Analyst
“Coach Pate is a ‘great-get’ for Marshall Women’s Basketball. She works, probes and studies her craft and the people in the game to give her student-athletes the best opportunity to find success. As a former head coach, she understands the importance of building relationships, managing team dynamics and prioritizing communication and vision to benefit the team. I look forward to following her success on the Marshall staff!”
Gene Hill, NC State Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
“Katie Pate is one of the bright stars in our profession. She's a great communicator, a great coach and has great character. She possesses all the qualities of a great assistant. Coach Kemper could not have selected a better person to help him begin his journey as a collegiate head coach in leading Marshall to the top of Conference USA.”
Todd Starkey, Kent State Head Women’s Basketball Coach
“Coach Pate is a true professional and understands what it takes to develop a championship program. Her vast experience throughout various levels of women’s basketball helps her bring a unique and valuable perspective to Coach Kemper’s staff. Marshall University is gaining a talented coach but an even better person!”